Poetry Corner


(Rhyme, verse & writings shining splendid light on the mixed-race, interracial community)

Fitting In
by Timothy D. Prott, esq.

It's like being the square peg
Except somewhere there is a place I fit.
At least, that is what someone perceives.
For me, the square peg,
I can't even seem to wedge myself into the square holes.

Why won't I fit in?
For what reason on earth could it be?

Is it the way I dress?
I dress the only way I know how.
I dress to feel comfortable, not to impress.
It is no more justified to judge a person on their style
Than it is to judge them on their lack thereof.
It is like judging how a walnut will taste
By examining the bumps and ridges on its shell.
The two entities, though one unit, are not directly related to one
I dress the only way I know how.

Perhaps it is how I talk
I speak the way my parents taught me.
My speech is for clarification, not for impression.
Why is it that one group denotes my speech as "too proper,"
Whereas another group sees it as "not proper enough?"
If I wanna be down, I have to speak a certain way.
If I wanna rise up, I have to speak a certain way.
Or so they say....
You know what I say.
I say my voice is my character.
To know my speech is to know me.
But I'm afraid they do not see it my way.
I don't think anyone sees it my way.

I wonder if it is the way I carry myself.
My personality is not one that stands out.
Except to those who are in my soul.
Low-key, you might say, is the word for me.
At least that is what you see
Unless I let you in.
But for some this is my drawback
They use my personality as a means to discredit me.
Telling me I'm this or that
Placing me in a category because of my choice.
Can't they see!
I am just like they, and they, like me.
If you strip away all the matter we are all the same.
But they will never see me as such.
So they use my personality as a crutch.
To justify their false beliefs in facts they themselves cannot prove.
Is that what we have come to?

Or is it the one defining factor that our society choosed to use
To separate us?
Is it my race that keeps me from the fit?
For me the answer is two sided, you see
Yet joined in one, in its simplicity
I'll admit, "race" has been a benefit and a burden
I'm sure you'll agree.

But what is so important about this four letter word?

For some it is the ladder upon which they climb.
For others it is the heavy chain that chokes the very life from them
For the vast majority, it is very significant.
It is the reason the square does not fit with the round
And the triangular does not fit with the trapezoidal
It separates us like oil separates from water.

What does race mean to me?
One who straddles the boundaries between night and day?
Race is just a word.
Simply a word.
Not a barrier to be crossed
Not an obstacle to be overcome
Not a crutch upon which I support my very existence.
A word.

And once they see as I see
With the pureness of their hearts
Not with their eyes
Then and then will I truly fit in.

"A Multiracial Warrior's Prayer"
By Ramona E. Douglass
"Dedicated to my Father, Howard William Douglass, and to the Right of all People to Self-Identify"

(Ramona Douglass is President of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans.)

Nightwinged spirit, shape-shifting soul
Beckoning me towards a world unknown.
Calling me home to ancient ways
Long discarded in a modern haze.

I recall the lone wolf's cry
The buffalo hunt--the warrior's prize.
Galluping horses toward the sun
I've envisioned on the run.

Touching my memory with a gentle grace
I see an image I can't erase
Calling me forth to claim and name
The courage and diginity of a forgotten race.

Bring down the fire power
Send up a flare
The tepees are warming
There's war in the air.

The ghost dance is raging
There's no turning back.
The spirit world's restless
They're making a pact.

Quantum identity isn't ok.
Racial injustice won't stand in our way.
From ashes to answers freedom survives
Out of extinction the Phoenix will rise.

The cold wind blows warmer
The future seems bright.
The peace pipe needs passing
Maybe tonight.

I'll fly away to some place and time
Where how we are measured shall not be defined
By the clothes that we wear or the hue of our skin
But by content of character and what lies within.

"The Ocean's Bed," "Ink From This Pen" and "Streams" were contributed by Aaron James Satoshi Cole

The Ocean's Bed

I walked upon the pavement
'til I observed a passing stone
roll 'gainst a gutter,
as if to be alone.

This stone had no specific colour
or hue that I could see
to make it 'specially distinguished
by its society.

Perhaps it was not as pretty--
a bit rounder than the rest.
Yet I could presume no reason
to regard it any less.

It was neither sharp nor jaded,
but rather smooth on top.
So I quickly cupped my hand
and drew the fellow up.

He seemed to quake and quiver
as he looked beneath a tree;
I saw the others looking up
with utmost enmity.

Thus, I hid him in my pocket
and took him lands away
where others would not find him
or curse him where he lay.

I placed him by an inlet
where the ocean came to play.
She drifted out to greet him
and offered him to stay.

He agreed as did the others,
and rolled to the water's edge,
where he tucked himself beneath her sheet
and sank quietly to bed.

Ink From This Pen

Death calls once and is no more,
but Sorrow seeks solitude at my door
everyday, and mine is unbearable;
I cannot quench
what has been wrought upon me
or the wrongs I do.
Ah, my friends, my enemies . . .
that prick of pain.

Ceaselessly, the animals will claw
at my sobriety
'til I look of you; I shed my skin.
Yet, you cannot see my past
or let me in
to your society.

Was the rock that gashed my forehead
dipped with hate,
or with the blood, dripped down
from my five-year-old face
so that I could not see
the colour of the rock?
And was it affronted--
you fucking bastards,
you mongrels of Ignorance.

Alas, sorry reader,
don't look for a rhyme on this page.
For a page is white;
it stares back at you.
After all, what is true
'less you write
in black or blue?


Red petals
grace wisps of white train,
brushing softly upon
the glint of black shoes
in yellow sun.
Streams of colour . . . .

What am I? by Laura Hymson

I was born out of love
Fostered in confusion
Came to stumble on pride and inner strength
Found power within myself
I never knew what I was but I knew what I was not
I knew then I did not fit into one of your small boxes of identity
I know now I am too big, too strong to curl up into one of your conventional
convenient categories of existence
I knew then I was different, special, unique
I know now just how special I am
I am the small minded mans fear
The fear of the unknown
The nameless
The outsider
The fear of a perfect union of the oppressor and the oppressed
But they still don't know what to call me
Could it be true, is it right, could the two co-exist in one bodily vessel
After all the looks and questions I looked around for some answers
What I saw was the zebra; such an animal to my delight
Nobody questions the zebra with his stripes worn proudly across his back
So with the grace of the zebra I stand and stride throughout my day
But still I pressed on looking for more within myself
I looked down one morning at the coffee in my cup
What a beautiful rich shade of mahogany I saw there
As I lifted the cream I peered inside to see its colors crisp as snow
I looked on with joy as I poured the cream in
I watched as the ribbons of color swam around in my cup with the wondrous
shades of ivory, mocha and mohogany and all that lies in between
I saw my answer becoming clear before me as the colors began to blend in
With each cup a new flavor, a new color
Each cup more spectacular in perfect harmony
Although my strength I found in the untamed zebra
And my confidence in a steaming cup of coffee
Each one of our answers lies out there somewhere before us
Our identities waiting to be claimed
Claimed not by a checked off box nor society nor anyone else other than you,
the individual, the perfect combination, the union of two beautiful
cultures, backgrounds, and colors

"Black and white" and "Eyes of a Child" were contributed by Raymond Allert

Black and white

I am not black
I am not white
I do not want to fight

I need to cry!
I need to belong!
I need to conform!

Oh, I am in the middle
of things too long

Eyes of a Child

The child clenched his little brown fist,
I'll protect you mommy, I'll beat them up!
I'm the man of the house!

The child clenched his little brown fist,
vainly trying to ward off the whites
surrounding his mother in a ring of hate.

The child clenched his little brown fist,
not knowing why the faces were so twisted,
or how violent and cruel people could be.

The child clenched his little brown fist,
knowing he had to protect
the Mother he Loved.

The little brown hand,
gently wiped the blood
from his Mother' s cheek.

The little brown hand,
will become stained
with the blood and tears of his people

Late Night Thoughts
by Navvy Jiner

You, darker than taffy,
but not than black berries,
Me, darker than frost,
but lighter than cherries,

For all the tangling of our loving limbs,
bare birch and elm, clutching in the snow,
igniting sparks whose tiny starts of glow
never caught to flame, yet never dimmed,

where is that darling boy or girl
our treasure could have bought
from fate, and brought
ransomed into this world?

(C) 1997

True Colors

Blindness creates the decent mind.
Vision holds the prejudice kind.

If all could close their eyes they'd see that true colors come
The outer layer is just to hold the living feelings within the soul.

Judge from the inside, not from the skin.
If all close their eyes, true love will begin.

Written by: Eileen Foley (at age 15)

*** This is very dated. I have other work, not all focusing on racism and my recent poetry is a lot more intense and mature but the innocence of this poem, I believe, is what is so beautiful. At 15, solutions to problems such as racism seem so simple and you know what, that's the way it should be.

From sÅßµ

In my life as a:
"None Of The Above"

I've been told:
"You're Too-Light",
"You're Not Light Enough",
"You're Too-Dark",
"You're Not Dark Enough",
"You're Too-White",
"You're Not White Enough",
"You're Too-Black",
"You're Not Black Enough",
"You Have An Identity Crisis",
"You're Not One Of Us, You're One Of Them",
"You're Not One Of Them, You're One Of Us",
"You Don't Know Who You Are",
"You're Not White, You Must Be Black",
"You're Not Black, You Must Be White",
"You're Not Really White",
"You're Not Really Black",
"You're Both Black And White",
"You're Neither Black Or White"
"You're Nothing Really".

I've been:
Accepted By Black And By White,
Rejected By White And By Black,
Integrated With Black And With White,
Alienated From White And From Black,
Praised And Complemented By Black And By White,
Insulted And Offended By White And By Black,
Loved By Black And By White,
Hated By White And By Black,
Paid Attention By Black And By White,
Ignored By White And By Black,
Pleased By Black And By White,
Angered By White And BY Black,
Enlightened By Black And By White,
Frustrated By White And By Black,
Fascinated By Black And By White,
Bored By White And By Black,
Helped By White And By Black,
Hindered By Black And By White,

Lived With White And With Black,
Lived Apart From Black And From White,
Agreed With White And With Black,
Argued With Black And With White,
Laughed With White And With Black,
Cryed With Black And With White,
Wanted To Assimilate With White And With Black,
Wanted To Segregate From Black And From White,
Never Seen Anyone Who's The Colour Of Coal,
Never Seen Anyone Who's The Colour Of Snow.

by sAbU. 1997
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My wife is african american and I am german/irish american. I play in a bluegrass band and wrote a song for our daughter soon after she was born in 1994. It is called "Savannah Rose"

She came to bloom on a misty morn
The rain was up in the clouds
When the sun shone down she began to grow
Into a beautiful Savannah Rose

My beautiful Savannah Rose
In the plains and hills she grows
My beautiful Savannah Rose
A miracle of life we know.

Black mother earth fed and nourished her
Butterflies kissed her leaves
The wind died down and the trees hung low
For the beautiful Savannah Rose

The drinking goard was their freedoms way
They followed it through the night
When her people came to pass their wagons went slow
To see the beautiful Savannah Rose

Brian Loebig nstreet/2640

by Angela M. Brown

Obstacles I have overcome,
And though the struggle is far from over,
I transcend...

The Burdens I carry,
Are a reality of a fate
That I myself did not choose.
Yet in many ways,
I am chosen.

I transcend,
Because you called me half-breed --
Because you called me zebra --
Because you sought to categorize me
Among the ranks of the tragic mulatto.
I am none of the above,
I transcend.

You say my people are a confused people,
But it is you who stirs this confusion.
It is you, America --
That spells out RACE-I-AM.
It is you who is caught up in the math.
It is you who constructs my identity,
Based on the percentage of my Blackness.
It is you who cultivates self-hatred
In the hopes of destroying the love of self.
...Still I transcend.
Because the one thing you cannot destroy
Is the Power of my mind.

I identify with your struggles.
How is it you may never fully identify with mine?

I embrace you...
How is it that you may never fully embrace me?

The Struggle either makes you weak,
Or it makes you stronger...


"Weeping Willow"

Today I weep with you my friend
I hold my head down in sorrow

Hoping the gentle sea winds
will caress my tired body too

I know my roots run deep
and strong like yours

I yearn for our buds to bloom,
green again

Dear Lord, help me to sway
with life's ups and downs

The way my Mother did....

Help me to gently bend
when necessary

The way my Mother did....

Help me to provide shade
and comfort for my family

The way my Mother did....

Help me to keep them dry
when it rains tears of pain and sorrow

The way my Mother did....

Help me to smile through the pain
and hold my head up high

The way my Mother did....

Dedicated to my Mother, Helen Denman Allert
Love, Raymond S. Allert 5/29/95 (C)

Vaya con Dios


"What kind of mush you have?" he drawled,
From beneath a white straw cowboy hat,
As he stared into his waiter's blank face,
And I watched their two worlds collide,
From a table nearby where I sat.

The question was probably legitimate,
And deserved a quick response,
Back in white straw territory,
But not here among the urbane,
Where mush is without nuance.

So he tried once again,
With a slightly different tack.
"Mush!" he shouted loudly,
As if it were a command or call to action,
For the waiter, a poor Caribbean Black.

"Honey, they may only have cereal,"
Interjected his more sensitive half.
She wore no hat,
But they were the perfect match,
As this trialogue turned slightly daft.

The three of them struggled in vain,
To scale those ancient walls,
Of culture, language, and race,
Repeating inextricably isolated thoughts,
Until Straw Hat finally ordered some damn cereal.

copyright 1986, 1997, Nathan Douglas. All rights reserved.

"Children Of Oppression"
by Dwight Sirls 9-20-1989

My being here is a reflection of hate
I am the product of oppression

Oh what a paradox, to thank the oppressors
for giving me life, a life of vast spectrum

Would I live if my mother was born
of hope and prosperity

Would I give life to these words
breathe soul into the crevices of a
hybrid sub-culture made obscure
by a psychological fallacy, banished
to the borders of acceptance and rejection

Oh what a paradox, to thank the oppressors
My being is a reflection of their weakness,
of their hate, and of their jealousy

Am I the contents of Pandora's box
or am I the solution

A narrow path leads me through an emotional maze
One wall is hate, one wall is love
I despise the tormentors, yet I owe them my life

An identity awaits at the end of the maze
Don't accept me by your principles
nor reject me by your standards

For I have a genesis and an identity
I'm a culmination of love and hate
I'm a child of man's internal oppression


What are you anyway?
Black? White? Mixed? Latina? Native American?
Mulato? Caribbean? Puerto Rican? Gringa?
Middle Eastern? Central American? Venezuelan?
Italian? Greek? Biracial? Cape Verdean? Spanish?
Cuban? Irish? Trigueña? Jewish? Hispanic? Morena?
Multiracial? Colombian? Eastern European? African?
Mestizo? Brazilian?...

I'm all of the above because you think I am
(depending on the clothes I'm wearing, the company
I'm keeping, the language I'm speaking, the food
I'm eating, the style of my hair, the shade of my
skin, the country I'm in), and I'm none of the above.

What am I?
I'm a question. I'm an answer.
I'm a resister of racial classifications,
A defier of ethnic designations,
A list of possible labels,
And a navigator of niches that don't quite fit.
I'm a petitioner for no more pigeon-holing,
Who loves to keep you guessing.
I'm a medley, a mixture,
A collage of colors,
A blended body shifting shades,
A cultural chameleon
Of ambiguous ancestry, and hybrid heritage.
I'm creator of my own category,
I'm inventor of my own identity.

I'm mixed, but I'm not mixed up.
I'm not about denying a part of me.
I'm not about trying to pass.
I'm no sell-out, no traitor,
No wanna-be, no mutt.
I'm no tragedy, and no exotic other.
...If anything, I'm just another hue of you.
I'm not about confusion
(unless you mean other people's confusion).
I'm not about anomaly or impurity,
About halfness or being in between.
I'm no less of one thing than I am of another.
I'm no poster child for interracial harmony,
No model for miscegenated humanity.
I'm not about messy mingling,
And I'm not what's meant by the melting pot.
I'm no jungle fever rainbow baby,
No icon for interbreeding.
I'm not about trying to be better than anyone else,
Or trying to be different.
What I'm about is being all of what I am...
Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

I'm a black + white + I don't know what else =
both/neither/other, "half" transracially adopted,
descendent of people I've never met. A freckled,
brown-skinned, curly/straight/frizzy brown-haired
(with some black, blond, and orange thrown in),
German American raised, Spanish speaking gringa
and multicolorful part-time ex-patriot. I'm mixed.
What I am is Me.

By Sara Busdiecker, ©1997

"Skin Deep"
by Angela M. Brown

Skin deep, from childhood to adolescence,
I stand here a woman,
Skin deep, my whole essence.

Skin deep as a child,
Faced with the mystery of self,
Of Black, and of White.

Intertwined in a world that made my Blackness a harsh reality,
Yet a world that embraced the invisible privilege of my Whiteness.

Years of searching have allowed me to see,
My privilege comes in your not knowing what I am,
When you take a look at me.

Captivated by Beauty...
Look skin deep into my essence, and you will find --
What you see on the outside is unparalleled,
To the Beauty of my mind.

The web I weave entangles itself,
Into an abyss of unanswered questions,
That find meaning, that find answers,
Skin Deep, in the silence of my soul.

Skin Deep,
I Bestow to you my effervescence...
Body, mind, spirit,
Skin deep -- my whole essence.

These are thoughts that my Black & Indian ancestors must have thought since the first contact with the Europeans.


"Oh! Grandfather. Bless the the white man,
for he only feels comfortable when giving power.

He has conquered & destroyed lands from shore to shore,
which inhabited peoples of color.

What is this sickness that spreads from generation to generation?

I sometimes wonder because Mother Earth is also of color with her green
grass & trees, Earth of Red clay, Blue sky & water,
Is that why he feels compelled to destroy her too?

It is good that you are the all powerful supreme God.
Since we are all created in your image
He would try to destroy you too!"

Lone Wolf


She often spoke of her childhood loneliness, of not having another to speak to who understood her advanced mind.

I spoke of my lifelong restlessness and depression, a ghastly concoction from which one is, seemingly, never cured or liberated. One part of the mixture feeds the other in what becomes an endless loop of quiet despair desperately seeking release from the renewal of daily suffering.

When we met we recognized the level of each other's awareness and needs. We connected. It was not on the level of the physical plane, rather a being-to-being coupling, two souls glimpsing an intimate unity of consciousness.

She was fourteen years my junior, but time exercises no mastery over the immortal life-force, élan vital. When we spoke, physical universe considerations were subordinate.

It was spiritual love as I've never experienced it. She sensed my thoughts and finished my sentences. I delighted in feeding off her incredibly loving energy, and I floated for the rest of the day. She'd remark on how natural it felt to converse with me. This easy communication heightened our awareness that, in general, what was real for her was also my reality.

The ease of communication and shared realities served to sustain our intense affinity for each other. I once read that affinity, reality and communication are the three component parts of understanding. More than anything else, we seemed to understand each other.

Then The Great Upheaval shattered the understanding. I shoulder full blame.

There is now a great, excruciating silence and emotional expanse between us, and I don't know if I can conquer it. I don't know that she wants me to. I hurt and wonder if she does too. The sole respite from this pain is sleep. When I awaken, the sense of loss -- coupled with the nagging suspicion that I was simply not good enough for her -- again overwhelms me.

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but methinks they've overlooked madness as a third option. Since the selfsame sages also proclaim that men shouldn't cry, my gender is suspect, as I've shed more than my share of tears over this loss, this woman.

We create our futures with our present-time actions, yet I'm at a loss as to the correct action to take in this regard.

What does that say about my future?

(by Charles Michael Byrd)


I'm a mixture of black, white & red
Not totally excepted by either, because I'm not full bred.
Blacks are more excepting,because of my dark skin,
I can walk anywhere among them and fit right in.

Whether they be from the Middle East, West Indies
The Americas if they are of dark skin
I know that we are of African kin

Skins can also see that Turtle Island was my ancestors birth
For I was blessed with the spirt of the original people
And a love for Mother Earth

Some accept me without question
because they can see the ancestral ties
Others want to know, if I'm federally recognized
Some of them appear to look more European,
with less Indian blood than me
But my history has been hidden or purposely kept from me
So I don't have what they have, a "CDIB".

Now we come to the mixture of my blood that is caucasian
That started with the European invasion

It's not as apparent as the black & the Indian
Some might say
But a sprinkle of it does linger in my DNA

Because I'm not fair, blond, blue eyes or red haired
It's always been quite easy to pass me by, you see,

For looking in the face of a Black Indian
only reminds them
of their history.

Lone Wolf


"Seeing is believing" or "All's not what it appears to be"
has always been a cause of controversy

People have always judged one another from stereotypes
But you can't judge a book by its cover
Nor people how they look

We are all made up of many different nationalities
Some you can and cannot see

Some seem obvious and some don't
Don't ask me to choose just one
because I won't

One's own documented genealogy can be under suspicion
because of false recording or even omissions

What about the bloodlines in me of my ancestors
Who have long been extinct?
Who walked this land before pen and ink?

So don't label me by what you see
because it just might be a case of
Mistaken Identity

Copyright -1998 - Lone Wolf -All Rights Reserved

The children chide back




Two tone






Black Indian, White Indian
sharing a common bond
sharing an ancestry to which
they both belong

Once separated by skin color
now one family
brought together by the red man
to live in harmony

Black Indian, White Indian
your foreign forefathers
did once collide
now you both find yourselves
on the same side

Has your hatred disappeared?
or are you just wearing a shell?
are you really Indian?
only time will tell

Will this brotherhood last?
or will it again erode?
Will you walk a crooked path?
or will you stay on the red road?

Copyright -1998 - Lone Wolf -All Rights Reserved


Black, White, Red, Yellow skin
People judging you because
of the color of your
skin pigmentation

I do not know if
we will ever come together
as one, but we must surely try
to respect one another and
put our differences aside

Look around you,
for even as I speak today
You will see that blending
of colors is mending the way

But even when color
is no lomger an issue
and you become us
and we become you

We will no doubt find
something else to fight about
If we continue saying
"I'm better than You!"

Copyright -1998 - Lone Wolf -All Rights Reserved


Love, can conquer age
and race, when two people are
destined in time and place.

Strong Love can last
through any storm, regardless of
its shape or form

Love can make life worthwhile,
when other things seem
fruitless and futile.

If you are lucky enough
to share Love, cherish it
before your place is above.

Raymond Allert (C)

Why don't the voices stop screaming "YOU DONT BELONG?"
Why do people always stare?
Why hurt ones you don't know?
Stop, take a look around,
at the playground...look at the little ones
laughing, playing, holding hands. "best friends forever" they whisper.
Until one day we are told "no you can't play anymore with THEM"
They are different.
But how I ask? She is my friend. We both cry. We both had family who died.
Babies being born, we go to school together, we eat lunch and share our
deepest secrets together. WHY!!!!!!!???????? I shout. WHY!!!!!!!!!???????
Our blood is the same.
And the answer is "just because..."
I will not accept that answer no longer!!!! I run free into the streets,
shouting her name, my BEST friend. I run to her door and pound and scream
"please don't leave me!!!!" Her mother opens the door and I see, my mother
already there. "NO!" I scream. She holds me tight and says for all to hear,
"I was wrong. Now I see. Thru your eyes of love. You have set me free. I
will never withhold your friends again. Black. Spanish, Korean, Mexican,
Indian, whatever it will be!!!!! We all have beating hearts to set us free."
And with that we stand friend in friend's arms, Mother in mother's arms.
Weeping in joy. For it is true love that sets us free. True love builds a
bridge for all nations to hold hands in Harmony.


by Amanda Prothero

alone in a modern world
am I the only one who feels this way
ashamed to be european
proud to be a woman
parallels run the tramlines of bigotry
just a bloody catastrophe

embrace the disgrace
of the world we live in
must we grin and bear
no room for despair
fighting the battles of a modern age
turning a page
of history

smell the pungent aroma
taste the shit
settling in the stomach pit
vicious circle
over and over
digest, detest, protest the conquest
an empire built on suffering
rejoice and sing
for the glorious king

A shade of Color, by Nikolas Francis

I'm living my life, they're living theirs,
three billion lives, individualized, should co-exist as one.
So what makes me, me, and not you?
I could be black, tall, and fat,
you could be white, short, and thin.
But you like rap, and I like rock,
and that can't be, or so says the TV.

So, now I'm kind of dark skinned,
I'm rather kind of grayish.
I'm not exactly white, not quite black.
So, what am I, and how am I supposed to dress?

Uh, oh, application time,
now I'm forced to choose.
Ok, I'll choose Hispanic (of no black background).
Wait, what about Dad?
Ok, I'll choose Black (of no Hispanic background).
Wait, what about Mom?
Choose! Says Uncle Sam. Ok, I'm Black.
So now it's like my mom is dead, my grandma, and her's too.

A man once had a dream on August 28, 1963.
And of this, he spoke, to us, on the TV.
Back then most watched in black and white,
For some people, even today,
black and white is all they see.
He also said let freedom ring, but
the only ringing I hear is in my ears.
It's the ringing from silent screaming
racists, who don't speak, but stare.
Solely, because I'm not white and I'm not black,
and because my parents loved me enough,
not to worry and allowed me to exist.

By Kim Hensley

To look at me black you'll see,
but an ivory mother proves to be
In between worlds, torn between races
they only see the colored faces
Skin golden bronze, hair curly black
eyes pierce my body, but one thing they lack
The ability to see beyond the surface
living their lives missing the purpose
they snarl their nose and turn their heads
when they pass us nothing is said
Physical appearance holds prisoner my soul
It's their ignorance, but we pay the toll
close your eyes and open your heart
See me for me, it's only a start
Generous, friendly, caring, and keen
qualities I possess never before seen
Change the world is this the key
You'd be surprised if you were me

Miss Yellow Sonnet

by Eli Alder

(Before you read on here is a vocab list so you don't get too muddled

konichiwa- Japanese 'hello'
paravan- another word for Indian untouchable I think
Thetis- Greek sea nymph who gave birth to the unknowingly vulnerable Achilles
mol- I think it's the Indian word for 'girl
mwivi- swahili for 'thief')

Mi's a copper, amber, honey affair
Yellow- no passe blanc ou passe noire
Mi roots grow up! Till dey in heaven's care...
And cherubs greet 'em with 'Konichiwa!'
Inner child knows societies bad sort....
So she is paravan peaceful, Untouched
She is Thetis, a slippery mol caught
By a mwivi who deceives much....
Dear thing (whose around, above, or within)
At times, I tire of my smiley face.
I wish to disrobe, me of precious skin
To become a (0) with (no) name and (no) trace.
For now I'm glad I was born a gold spoon
Change starts here (a lot less than too soon)

WHO AM I.............

AM I the child
of a beggar?

AM I the child
of a sinner?

AM I the child
of a christian?

AM I the child
of a man whose skin
was white as snow?

AM I the child
of a man whose
skin was dark as coal?

AM I the child
of a woman who's

AM I the child
of a woman who's
on the run?

AM I the child
of a woman who
can make many
dreams come true?

AM I the child
of a GOD that's
high in the sky?

AM I the child
of a dead woman
whose skin is white?

AM I the child
of a dead man
whose skin is black?

WHO AM I........................

By: Dora Fuller
Atlanta, Ga

"when you look at me?"

What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see a person of mixed ancestry?

Or do you just take into account
the color of my skin?
Do you see the person that dwells within?

One or more of my ancestors
may have come from
the same country as yours
But you push me away
my lineage you ignore

You act as though my color is a sin
as if I was a figment
of your imagination

What do you see
when you look at me?
Are you seeing you?
Or are you seeing me?

(C)-Lone Wolf-1998-All Rights reserved

A New Race

Our genes,
Are black,
And Asian.
We are not one just one group,
We are all of them.
We are multicultural,
We are special.
And original.
If you cannot see that,
Then you are no better,
Than the ignorant people of the past.
Learn to appreciate us.
Because we are not errors that will go away,
We are a new race that will soon be acknowledged

One of a Kind

A mutt.
An impure mistake.
Is that the way you describe me?

To the black,
I am white.

To the white,
I am black.

To the Hispanic,
I am Indian.

To the Indian,
I am Hispanic.

Does anyone accept me for who I am?
Can no one see past the color of my skin?

I'm not just black, or white, or Hispanic, or Indian,
I'm all of the above.

I'm not a mixed mutt,
I'm a rainbow of races.

I'm not blotched painting,
I'm abstract art

I cannot be put into just one group,
I am truly one of a kind.

Sami Schalk


If White is Right And Black is Beautiful

Does that make me Righteously Beautiful
Beautifully Righteous?

copyrighted 1993 by Njemila Zakiya aka valerie dickson

God's River

High in mountains past the green of the hill
Through the mystical canyon
lives a lake named "Surreal"

Might and proud surrounded by pine
He boast that "No beauty is equal to mine"
My waters are as pure as the fresh fallen snow.
And "I have risen supreme to all that's below"

I will send down a river to bare witness of me.
Letting everybody know I am superior to thee.
Leaping over the shore, pounding the ground
the river came rushing with a thunderous sound.

Babbling and Shouting, Canyon walls echoes
Repeat an aquaocentric message of pride and conceit.
Displaying its beauty in a misty waterfall while singing
"I am the purest The purest of all"

Around the bend towards the valley,
Then a sudden change in pace and
A look of shock on the river's proud face.
Once a raging river, now mild and meek
In awe of the ocean too scared to speak.

This body of water with no end in sight
Has humbled the river now flowing with fright.

The arms of the Ocean stretched out far and wide
As the silent river is swallowed inside.
The ocean embraced the river with love
Welcomed it home from the waters above.

He explained to the river as they stood hand in hand
That at one time "We covered the mountains and land.
When we resided some of as stayed to nurture the plant
And creatures God saved"

The river met waters from far away lands, made friends
with a brook that flowed from Japan.

"God made one body of water like he made
one body of man and to return back to one is
just part of his plan"

By Craig Butler

"I Ain't Monoracial"
by Zachary Morris.

I'm not a person of unmixed background
So why this society should force me
To choose one identity
That seems to define me.

My melting pot genealogy gives me
Every right to perceive myself as
Multiracial American.

I also have freedom to object
Being "monoracial"
Because I'm multiracial
So don't make me choose.

Once again,
I'm multiracial
Regardless anyone resents me, or not.

Just like there's nothing wrong being racially pure
Well, there's nothing wrong being racially mixed
So I say it loud,
"I'm mixed and
I'm proud."

What's with these political "powers that be"?
The ones who refuse to acknowledge the Multiracial you and me.
The ones who, if they do, will do it in ways that only they see fit to.

Racial barriers enough, now they want to tell us who and what we are. To
settle for this is to receive a wound that forever leaves a scar.

Are we not singled out?
Do we not experience racism the same as those with ill perceptions and
fears of who and what we are?

We are being denied a basic right, one for which the Multiracial must
continue to fight.

Do they not accept us because we exemplify racial harmony?
How dare they accept me only when I stand up for them, but they won't
stand up for me.

I will never deny any part of what makes up the whole of me, most of
which stems from my heart and not any category.
I refuse to let them tell me what I am or what they want me to be.

I am blessed with the spirit of more than one origin
Therefore I am
I am the strength and support of three innocent souls
Therefore I must be
I am spiritually humbled, I am of love, I am harmony
Therefore I am free.

Sheryl Sartin

"The perspective that counts"

Jesus, I woke up this morning and breathed in the fresh air of Your
Oh how wonderful You are to have created me. I shout with exalted
I embrace Your beauty as You caress my face
You don't view me as different in regard to my race
What should my kind be called anyway? Why is it even an issue?
African Asian American? Is this how one attemps to define a
combination of the two
Or perhaps Blawanese or Taiwanack?
Wait I forget. You don't even keep track
Race is not a concern of Yours as You look into my eyes
My heart is my special quality. All should realize
My uniqueness I cannot explain
This joy I cannot contain
For I am forever Yours and You are mine
This dance that we share is one of a kind
You have neatly hand threaded my existence
Thank You for the beauty that "others" deem as difference
So "others" don't understand. Will "they" ever get it?
Showering in the experience of two different worlds -- It's a shame that
"they've" missed the opportunity to live it
Being me can be struggle sometimes, but I know that You're there to
help me get through it
Acceptance is what I receive from You, and Jesus, You, have already
prooved it

Brenda Bishop

My Skin
Kirsten Campbell

My skin's a curtain of deceit,
a translucent lie
that most people never see through,
a tight muscle that holds me in,
holds me hostage.

I call out from behind lying walls,
but no one listens. No one hears me.
No one sees me.
All they hear is
camouflaged echos.
All they see is
my skin.

My skin has drowned me several times
in a sea of unfamiliar depths.
I fought to break away,
grab hold to a strong current,
to pull myself from the murky waters
of my skin.

It's blinded many to my inner beauty,
stripped me of my inner peace.
Still I reach out to every race,
hope to greet a new friend
that looks beyond the color of
my skin...

"Feeling Lost In My Own People"

By Diane Burnham

The amber flickers from my right hand.
I question myself a thousand times.
My Elders spirits still walk this land.
The hypocrisy makes me want to hide.
The loss has been too great not to stand.
What is left to hold is so hard to see,
Being lost in Christian fairy tales was shallow and bland.
Denial at times causes me to scream.
Customs, traditons, seem to drown like quicksand.
And yet my people bleed like me...
Lost forever in a money hungry world of demand.
Reminensce of what once was, as
The amber flickers from my right hand.
Am I the only one that sees?
Shhhh...don't speak too loudly for fear of reprimand.
Others cry and I feel sorry for myself in this day.
I am just a fourth generation strand.
Feeling lost in my own people.
All the while the amber flickers from my right hand.

Family Tree

My parents are different,
Their ancestries, diverse.
Their love created a child.
But it's not a burden or a curse.
To be biracial,
Isn't easy all the time,
Yet my parents have committed
No horrible crime.
They simply did,
As their hearts told them to,
They paid no heed,
To the opposing view.
They stood up and said no
To any racial slur or lie.
I am proud of who they are.
My culture I won't deny.
I am Jamaican, German, English,
I am proud of who I am,
Irish, Dutch, and Cherokee too.
I'm Mexican, and Puerto Rican,
I could go on until I was blue.
And who I'll someday be,
I'm proud of both my parents,
And of my colorful family tree.

I am Not a Puzzle

To most,
I am a puzzle.
There for amusement,
For entertainment,
To see who can put me together first.
Who can figure out,
Exactly what I am,
Without having to ask.
I am not a puzzle.
Do not constantly stare.
I am not here for your curiosity.
Leave me alone.
I am not a puzzle.
I do not have separate pieces of my body,
Each a different background.
They are blended together into one.
The pieces are not really pieces at all,
But in fact, they are paints.
You cannot mix paint without making a new color.
So you cannot mix races,
Without making a new heritage.
Please do not try to put me together, or figure me out.
I am not a puzzle.
I am a beautiful color of paint
A new shade of the old.
I am no longer just one primary color
But a mix of them all
Here to create a new color spectrum.

By Sami Schalk

"The Quickest Way To My Heart Is The Ho Chi Minh Trail"

My mother left a list of her enemies
underneath my tongue, with instructions to look
the cowards in the eye and spit napalm
in their hair. Roast them
with their uniforms tattered and dangling from their frames,
and if they’re still breathing,
aim for the Adam’s apple, and whisper
clearly in their ears,
‘Who needs morals when you’ve got guns?’
It’s time to testify.

It’s sick, I know,
but what’s done is done, and payback
is the only way back for a person
who isn’t frozen in grief like a mausoleum cherub.
Every shameful tear
simply can’t be accounted for in this lake I sit,
since salt dissolves in water, divides,
and one side invades the other, back and forth,
until I can’t tell the difference between
master and slave anymore.
It’s the auctioning off of skulls
filled with blood, swashed against my temples,
scrubbed hard into my cracked lips,
gliding over my wide, smooth nose,
and drop by drop dripping
from my crescent chin, that stings my eyes shut.

She told me, my pregnant teacher told me
that it’s not the world that revolves around me,
it’s the flies.
‘It’s hard enough feeding you little blind worms
morals that your stomachs can’t keep down,’
she said to herself, and then gave me an F for effort.
She informed my parents how
their only son had developed an unrepentant mute complex that
only a therapist could extract from me,
like the brain from a pharaoh.
Didn’t she know that some were born with love
while some were born to hate?
My file should have said I was born
with a silver bullet lodged in my gullet,
circumcised with my father’s dogtag and
left with my mother’s legacy circulating
beneath my skin.
A declared secession between their genes, split
from north to south,
it became a hostage situation.
One side demanded my fingerprints,
the other side demanded my fingers.
No truce, so now I speak my father’s tongue
with my mother’s tongue.
It’s twisted, I know,
these veins with these vines, which
makes it even harder for me to
distinguish between truth and honor.

We must all cross a lake of fire,
whether by foot or by sail.
Tonight I’m at the lake bed, barefoot,
in fear of the deafening roar of a flame thrower
and crackling branches.
My body sweats on blue sheets.
Nightmares break open my door and rush
under my pillow.
They whimper like a dying dictator
sentenced to life on an island of his choice.
Glare at the darkness
and darkness back at me.
Large hulls navigate around the jagged edges of lungs and heart.
I find myself stuck between two lands,
struggling and bobbing, and trying
to make the best of this midnight tempest.
I cling to anything that floats by.
This time, it’s a bloated seagull, tomorrow
it could be a fishing net.
Fishermen on shore scream over the stormy waves
questions that I don’t have time to answer.
‘Who was that woman carrying you in her stomach
for all those months?
Was it your aunt, your sister, your cousin or,
heaven forbid,
your grandfather’s mother?’
The flames burn at my waist.
I can’t go back to sleep.

The demons inside of me are shy, but ambitious,
and they’re convinced that I don’t believe in
the ruthlessness of motherhood or
the healing flight of prayers howled from the tops of minarets.
The incubi warn me that they have their daggers drawn
against my throat and that I must say to those who ask
that I don’t believe in this country,
and that I don’t believe that I don’t believe in this country,
so there’s nothing I won’t believe.
My eyes are red from staring at
a computer screen, at a movie screen, at a television screen,
at a TouchScreen, LCD display on a portable CD player
with double bass, double live album, double the pleasure,
double the fun, double up, triple decker
with a biggie this and super that, put this on,
take this off, turn the record over, turn the tape over,
change the channel that’s my favorite song, don’t you know,
when I’m tired of America, I go to my room
and wrestle with paradox.
I can hum every after school TV theme song,
but I can’t remember my mother’s face
when she bent over me with a rice ball in her mouth.
I remember at the age of six, grandma
took us to the zoo for the day, and
I didn’t want to come back to the car
because the cages reminded me of the cages back home,
except the ones back home opened up
once in awhile for me to see the new neighbors
moving into new houses
in what used to be our new backyard.

Ho Chi Minh suffered for our sins.
Took every kiloton bomb on his dry forehead
and still did his daily exercises out in the courtyard,
AK over his shoulder.
The cross he bore was unimaginably heavy,
two bazookas tied together with a burning American flag.
Hill upon hill, his people cried and pleaded
for him to heave the burden on them;
let them carry this awful punishment the rest of the way.
‘Rest, Uncle Ho, rest,’ they shouted.
No, he wheezed, I’m needed over in the States more than I am here.

How do I start
separating father from mother from this face of mine,
soaking in the sink?
There, like yin and yang fused together, lying down, spreading apart,
giving birth to
a crown,
then eyebrows,
then chin,
then chest,
then ankles,
then soles.
A regeneration of the cord that attached me to them, then eaten
by the jaws of a monsoon spit from the stomach of war.
When will this circular hostility break?
The fishermen can’t answer this question.
I walk up on the shore.
It’s time to rectify.

By Kevin Allen

Black and White...

Black and white.
Black and white.
Everyone separates
into their little groups,
and I'm left on my own.
"Choose," they tell me.
Choose a color,
choose a race,
choose or lose
the chance to be with us,
to be like us.
I won't choose.
Don't have to.
I'm both.
I'm me,
and I'm glad to be
black and white.

By Kirsten Campbell

The Consequences of Color...

"Color is of no consequence,"
that's what they told me as a child.
You can do this.
You can do that.
Become, become, become,
just spread your psychedelic wings
and fly, fly, fly.
Still, I was lassoed into their cattle call,
branded with their hot iron of truth,
"Black blood, white face,
white skin, black race."
Half-bred nigger,
white bread wigger.
So, now I ask the question,
a question they just can't answer,
"How can I fly when my wings are so full
of psychedelic lead,
and racist remarks still run rampant,
and echo within my multiracial head?"

By Kirsten Campbell

Melting Pot

Looking in the mirror
what do I see?
an African American woman
that looks like me
What does the world see?
a happy carefree person
but how can that be?
for that is not me
Forced to choose between two worlds
black and white
yet I stay in the gray
afraid to stray
If I go with the white I will lose the black insight
If I go with the black the white will disappear
I feel like a bird in flight
yet my decision is something I fear
Why do I have to decide?
because society says so?
I say NO
I am a melting pot


If Daddy's black and Mummy's white, what am I?
I must be half caste.

If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's half caste, what am I?
I must be half caste too.

If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's white, what am I?
I must be quarter caste.

If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's black, what am I?
I must be quarter caste too.

If Daddy's quarter caste and Mummy's white, what am I?
I must be one eighth caste.

If Daddy’s quarter caste and Mummy’s black, what am I?
I must be one eighth caste too.

But what if Daddy’s one eight caste and Mummy’s quarter caste? What am I then?

Confused yet?

If Daddy's black and Mummy's white, what am I?
If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's half caste, what am I?
If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's white, what am I?
If Daddy's half caste and Mummy's black, what am I?
If Daddy's quarter caste and Mummy's white, what am I?
If Daddy’s quarter caste and Mummy’s black, what am I?
But what if Daddy’s one eight caste and Mummy’s quarter caste? What am I then?

Mixed Race.

Becki, London.

I feel as if I'm hiding behind my face.
I can't express myself, show my true colours,
Because they're not the same as the colours I am outside.
My skin - light, slightly freckled. White girl.
My mother's skin - white, freckled. White woman.
My father's skin - black.
People say to me, "Are you white?"
I don't know.
People say to me "Are you black?"
I don't know that either.
I don't look black. I don't look "half caste". I don't look white.
A light girl with black features.
A black girl with light skin.
My friends are black. The boys who payed me attention were black.
I can't connect with white people, though I am one.
Sort of.
I'm half caste, a zebra, a half breed, a mongrel, a mistake.
Lighter than chocolate,
Darker than cream.
My lips are full.
My nose is wide.
My hair. It's the hair.
"She's not white. Look at her hair."
Brown, tangled, afro, thick, fuzzy, bushy, frizzy mess.
My mother used to comb my hair with a wide tooth comb.
She could never do it the way I wanted.
Her hair was completely straight. She didn't understand.
I liked my hair when it was wet.
Thousands of dark brown curls, not just a big fuzz.
When I started secondary school, I wanted to look different.
White, even.
It didn't work. People still asked questions.
"You're half caste, aren't you?"
In Year 8, I discovered gel.
A little gel and water calmed it down.
I got comments all the time.
"I love your hair, it's really curly."
From both black and white people.
Instead of saying, "Damn, you're hair is rough."
They were saying, "Damn, you're hair is ruff!"
If you get what I mean.
I still longed for dark skin.
Just a few shades darker, so I was at least tan.
I couldn't fit in anywhere.
I was too light to be down wit da black people.
I was too black to be up with the white people.
I didn't like myself.
It took me a long time to realize my true colour.
Mixed Race.
I'm only thirteen now, but I think I understand myself.
I don't think I will relax my hair.
I like it how it is - I don't need to look white any more.
My friends still joke about, calling me a half breed, etc.
But my darker friends get called black.
I think whatever colour you are, at some point you will get this.
But once you've accepted your colour, it doesn't really matter so much.

Becki, London.

Hate Me Eyes

Look at me with your hate me eyes.
Smile at me with your hate me disguise.
You look once and do a double take.
And inside I know grows your hate.

You see two colors, I see one love.
You swear God has forbidden it from above.
You would like to sweep us under the rug.
You’re ready to have a heart attack when you see us hug.

You spout all your little silly analogies.
You throw your fabricated statistics at me.
You give all kinds of excuses why it shouldn't be.
And like a rock stand my woman and me.

You say my children will be ridiculed and cursed.
You say they won't fit anywhere and their life will be worse.
But my baby begins the world with an innocent heart.
Until it's corrupted by you, masters of a racist art.

You call yourself a Christian bending on your knees.
But your eyes show you will always hate me.

By Theodore Christopher

In Between

In between
Black and white
White and black
There are a people
No box to check
No flag to salute

In between
Two shades
Of light and dark
There are a people
With no history, no past
Who have become ashamed and dis-named

In between
A society who stares and wonders
Who laughs and ignores
There are a people
Slowly rising out of the in between

2000 Yartish Bullock

An Attitude of Color

But still…
I walk, talk, ride with my love.
Thoughts of vanilla and chocolate rise, froth…
Mix to make a smooth cappuccino blend of passion.

People stare, glare, flare the combination.
The liberal smiles, beguiles.
Cowards hide, snide, pesticide become.

But still…
I run, dance, sing with my love.
Thoughts of Nordic and Tropic communicate, unite…
Override liberal, coward to become rich earth.

By Jo-Anne Carlson

Ode to An Infant

God has created you free,
Allow no earthly restriction
To alter your essence.

The one who attempts
To pollute your manifestation
Must defeat the forces of Nature
Before harming your core.

You are the epitome of Holy War
No intellectual speculation
Can define who you are

For the spark you bear
Can never be encompassed
By the mind who experiences
This dual dimension.

No establishment
Nor outward source
Shall obstruct your light,

Realize this Truth and
Breathe your soul's divinity.
In due time,

Your identity will resound
As if African drums
In your whole being

Until we all marvel
At the illumination
You were born to reach!

From Unmanifest Poems by Aida Toure.


When you look at me what do you see?
I see 2 sides to me.
The outside shows skin the color of snow
The inside shows a part that noone knows
Caught in between 2 worlds that people
Don't understand
Respect, understanding, a fair chance is what I command
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
Caught in this web I had no control over
I am judged before I speak based on appearance alone
My curly dark brown hair and hazel eyes
Don't help my situation
Mesmerized by my voice my intelligence breaks their concentration
When you look at me what do you see?
I see 2 sides to me


Neither black or white but somewhere in between
An intelligent beautiful woman you know what I mean
Long wavy brown hair that hangs down my back
Style, class and a sense of humor I certainly do not lack
Educated and determined, sensitive toward others
My openness and caring ways are advantages to being a good mother
My abilities to connect to comfort and to see
All of these allow me to be the person that I am lightskin that's me.


I am a sister, a daughter, a mother, a friend
I am intelligent but not too scared to hear what others have to say
I am beautiful but not too stuck up to give others a compliment
I am independent but not too proud to ask for help
I am bound to my own morals and values but open to opinions
I am made from my past but welcome new experiences to guide my future
I am a mentor, a confidante, a supporter but I also have fears
I am determined to succeed but not scared to fail
I am biracial, like a 2 sided coin heads or tails but I am complete
I am a woman
I just am


Many people strive for perfection
Yet we live in such an imperfect world
Doors open and close with each step that I take
My ethnicity separates me
My heritage binds me to my past
My appearance keeps me from moving forward while others pass judgment
Beauty is best described from within
True beauty runs deep
It shines in my smile; it sparkles in my eyes; it shows in my stride
I strive to belong to be accepted by society
I am neither black or white
I am just an imperfect woman living in an imperfect world being misunderstood


Black and white are the colors that make me
Society chooses the visible color because that's what they see
In this world we are made to choose one
Caught in the middle of both worlds a tangled web I have become
Why can't we live life as we see fit
People fear what is different; their fears they are afraid to admit
Neither black or white keeps my heart from being good
But the complexion of my skin, the color of my eyes and the curves of my body I am misunderstood
Why can't I be who I was born to be
It takes courage, a strong person to open their minds and see
My reflection in the mirror is who I was born to be.

"2-Sides To Me," "Light Skin," "I am," "Misunderstood," and "Color" by Trina Umbarger

Zevi's Eyes

Look in his eyes, do you see what I see?
His mind is full of hopes and dreams, I know, I can see the reflection.
I look into them with both profound hope and with undesired tension.
His eyes are like mine, yet they glisten, mine differ... by size and from my perspective.
Will his world be a society to be scorned by racist ideologies?
As he grows, will his eyes become jaded, paralleled by my circumstance?
Or will his world grow as he does? Will his eyes look like mine?
Can he learn to succumb to a skewed world defined by confinement of reason and rationale, will he have to?
Will we all get the chance to see Zevi's eyes as a man the way I get to see them now?

By Shira-Davida Goldberg-Rathell
Executive Director
Yachad b'Shalom ~ Together In Peace


by Jesse Oakley III

Some people think I'm white as snow
While others say I'm black as night.
Does this make me feel out of place
Or put me right where I belong?

I don't follow those hidden rules
That this society has made.
The way I am suppose to act
Will never match the way I think.

I do get those strange leery looks
Coming from both sides of the fence.
One sees crime, violence, and drugs
The other sees sellout and Tom.

I don't have time for those people
Viewing me with their microscope.
I'm just proud to be a bugboy
Respecting my own wit and style.

Copyright ©2001 Jesse Oakley III

“It Doesn‘t Matter”

Your skin is different than mine,
yet, our skin feels like silk.

Your hair is blonde,
my hair is black.

Your lips are small,
my lips are full.

You have broad shoulders,
I have broad hips.

Your heart beats,
my heart skips a beat.

Your love is unconditional,
My love is too.

By Eve Hall

This poem was written after my fiance, whose mother is Chinese and father is Black, came to me with feelings of confusion regarding her identity.

i have worn shoes
with holes (or wholes)
for miles
still no door had the
i have been
searching for

many years have passed
when i didn't
even know
that i was walking
trampling over dandelions
and snakes
didn't even
cross my mind
hills, valleys, mountains
all seemed to
as i stared forward
into the mirror i
in front of my eyes

since no one ever asked
i never took
the mirror
and i kept moving where
my mind carried
my body

given that
no path is without
i tripped one day
shattered my mirror

the mirror
which had been
right in front
of my eyes
propelling me
to never break stride
to never see
its reflection
was gone and the
new view

what was to
entice me to
walk now?

why should i
continue my

the doors seemed
so much further away
the ones opened
- yellow and black -
had no more
just blurry representations

i squinted and looked
trying to
make out what was
the right one
or right

that is when i
started to run
all the colors
began to blur
all the representations
began to become
in their
in the middle of
this path
with no mirror to
entice me
i felt my first

- damion frye 2001

Three poems from Raquel Pasquela Ramirez


My mother cannot speak Spanish ---
neither can I.
But in my sleep
I spin tales of Ixtapa and Guadalajara and Madrid for her.

En Español.

I tell her about the Great Mango War of ’75
and of the Tequila Worm Festivals in June.
All about Frijoles Beach
and Vino ý Apertivo Holy Week.

Somehow she understands.
Somehow she is interested.

I tell her about the time I pulled the espada
out of the bulls heart at a bull fight
and blew gently on the wound
until the heart was beating again.

I tell her about my days as a Flamenco dancer.
The finest in Spain.
And how Carmen Miranda’s Chica Chica Boom Chic
was a clear rip off of my act.

this is how such things are in dreams,
in dreaming Spanish to my mother.
I tell her my Spanish stories
so that one day she will understand my Papì.

Somehow she is interested.

Somehow she understands.


I am 14 generations of unabashed lovers.
I am the blackened wick
And the white wax
And the gold flame
That lit the path between them.

I am the wandering green-eyed miners
I am the bolt in the sign that reads: No Irish. No Blacks. No Dogs.
I am the aged mottled stones Antony gave to Cleopatra.

My heart beats to the tribal drums of the Lakota and the Apache
To the castanets of black-eyed flamenco dancers
To the reptile rattle of the Vodun witch-woman.

I am the cornrow, the scalp lock, an elf curl, a dread.

I am the ore that shackled the African,
Armored the Celt,
Which bangled the Injun,
Which buttoned the Spaniard.

I am all things long forgotten.


1 Ace bandage
2 buses
and an hour later,
I stood,
leaning against
a birthday-cake-blue wall,
in the emergency room;
because the old,
the sick,
and the over-pregnant,
outnumber me.

2 little girls,
playing chase-and-fall,
ram foreheads
that look like ringworm
into my swelling arm & ruin
my Puerto Rican rum composure.

I see the nurse come
with her clip board,
her skinny knees
playing I-hit-U-I-hit-U-back.
She looks around
then back at her roster
and departs.

I know the game,
I scan the room, like her,
and play along:

Tijuana Red,
with the convenience store
hair color
and an infected set
of Lee Press-on’s,
is in her late 40’s.

Another woman,
who pats her chest incessantly
as though she is dying
of mal de amores,
swats at her step-son
to sit still.
When he won’t,
she tells him in Spanish
that he is the cause of the pain in her chest.
She is probably 45
but Max Factor insists
that she’s only 29.

I am not the darkest face here
but it is the best of poker faces.
It is a face that confuses nurses
and PE teachers & DMV agents
because it does not match the name on the clipboard.

There are men waiting, too.
But none will give up
their seat for me.
I only have a purple hand,
which they don’t notice,
not a belly full of blood,
or baby.

Tío Alcohólico,
who is the darkest,
pulls on the crotch of his pants
like there will never
be enough room in them
to hide the wincing
on his face.

Senior Suavé in the back,
sneaks looks at me
over his shades.
His shirt hangs to his knees when he sits
and each pant leg
is a circus tent.
He could be handsome,
but his head
has too many corners.
I think that is why he is here.

25 minutes later,
the nurse returns.
Looks around.
But before I can say anything,
she exits again.
I see her behind a glass partition
tapping her clip board
and interrogating
the receptionist
who points at me.

The Nurse looks
at her clip board.
At me.
At the receptionist.
At me.
She opens the door
to the waiting room
and says aloud:

“Raquel Pasquela Ramirez?”

I stand up straight,
careful not to bump my head
on the hanging TV.

I nod at her.
I know who I am.

By Jennifer E. Bowman

I was born of guilt and shame
My mother refused to give me her name.
A taboo tryst brought into the light,
My father was black and my mother was white...
I felt I was the one to blame.

I was given to the state
Signed away on my birth date,
Surrendered by my mother's hands,
For the state to henceforth meet my demands --
Forced into a world I grew to hate.

I was placed in foster care,
I don't remember the time I was there,
But the agency decided I'd spend my life
With a Jewish man and his African wife --
Where I escaped death by a hair.

I recovered from every broken bone,
Only to be sent back to their home,
I was beaten again, only more severely,
I didn't lose my life, but nearly,
Once again, I was orphaned and alone.

I was visited by my new Mom and Dad,
Who promised I'd no longer have it bad,
Kind and loving, they came to adopt,
Otherwise, my life might well have been stopped,
They're the best parents I could have had.

I grew up in a white neighborhood,
Like most adoptees, I tried to be good,
I went to white churches, I went to white schools,
Since I was the misfit, I followed their rules,
I acted as every adoptee should.

As I reached my teen years, life was getting tough,
"The only" black person, I'd had enough,
I got really mad and rebelled because
Didn't know my identity, who I was,
Adoption plus race issues, life was tough.

With that on my mind, I began to rebel
How my parents dealt with me, only they can tell.
I got rebellious, I lost my dream,
I lost all sense of self-esteem
I put my poor parents through hell.

I couldn't iron out the kinks,
I landed in the chairs of shrinks,
Hospitalized, so "they" could deal
With the intense ways I think and feel,
I thought to myself, "My life really stinks."

Independence, on my own,
Found a man so I wasn't alone,
He biracial, just like me,
From a dysfunctional family,
Enmeshed with him, I hardly called home.

Turning to him to fill the abyss,
He was the one I began to miss
For he left me pregnant and all alone,
With a son to raise on my own,
That baby was my all -- still is.

At last, a biological child.
He left my soul bewildered, riled.
At last, a biological link,
It made me cry, it made me think:
My urge to find my genes ran wild.

So I sought out my biological tie,
My birth mother thought and felt as I...
But she told me I was conceived in assault,
Once again, it was all my fault,
All I could do was cry and cry.

I learned her family hated blacks,
And referred to them with racist attacks,
And so she cried "rape" with a shout
And thus, the RAPE STORY had come about,
I learned I didn't know the facts.

By this point, I had settled down
With a white man, with 2 children of his own.
We had two more kids, he and I,
But the urge to find my "black side" would not die.
In vain, I searched my birth father's hometown.

At this point, that's where I stand.
My search for "identity" still at hand.
A biracial family, my childhood repeated,
Yet my urge for my personhood will not be defeated.
When I find him at last, I'll understand

By JC Singleton

How did you feel
When for a fresh start
You filled out a job app
And came to this part:


So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel
When you were told by your neighbor
A green-eyed-brunette:

"We need not worry about locking our doors
as long as THEY don't move in the neighborhood."

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel
When the person you just met at the party
Told you it was all just pure malarkey:

"You're kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!……….You're
kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ……….No you're not---You can't be-
No way!……….That's impossible---You look Norwegian."

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel
When you were in school
And the coach said you couldn't play ball
And he'd call your Mom
If you went to the prom
With the blond queen.
So you asked a girl with kinky hair
And became the object of everyone's stare.

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel at the Million Man March
When you were all gung-ho
And ready to go
And someone made a remark
That broke your heart:

"What is he doing here?
He's not a BROTHER
This gathering's for US, man
Not THEM."

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel
When you turned on the TV
And everyone you saw
Looked like Eddie Murphy,
Paul Newman,Connie Chung
Or Lisa Bonet---

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel on your wedding date
Back in '48
When you had to wait
For your good looking mate
With the memorable gait---
At first you thought he was just very late
As he had often been on many a date
But turned out he was just a man of pure hate:
He found out your secret and jilted you.

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel
As the only straight-haired one at the party
With a woolly-haired-date
Who wasn't keen
About being seen
With you at such a soiree---

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

How did you feel on that overcast day
When your teen-age-cousin, Jay
Jumped before a moving train
Cause he could no longer bear the pain
Of not belonging:

With the purebreds---
With the obvious hybrids..

So few understand….So few understand,
As so few are like me….
So few are like me.

A conversation with my 13 year old sister who is adopted and biracial just like me
By Jeni Wright

I was the one
Who told my sister
A white woman helped give birth
To her brown skin, full lips, and curly hair
I told her what no one had told me
What I discovered
In a metal box
That was immune to fire
And my rage

I told my sister
A white woman helped give birth
To her brown skin, full lips, and curly hair
And she didn’t believe me
Just like I hadn’t believed the court documents
In that metal box
Cause a little mixed girl in an all-white world
Thinks she is the blackest thing since Sambo
Can’t see her history
When she looks in the mirror

I told my sister
A white girl played a role
In making her brown skin, full lips, and curly hair
I had the conversation Mom and Dad never had with me
All my years of field research
painful probing of everyone who might know
about Black boys and White girls
finally put to use

And how could I explain
The white woman
Who opened her legs
And maybe her mind
And dropped her
Curly-headed self alone into the world?

How could I explain
All the brothers who placed White Girls and Easy
Side by side in their conversations
All the white girls
Who did their own research
On the big-dick theory?

I invented language for her
To replace expectations like

Told her we were bicultural
Cause we could do both worlds
Had her laughing at our cleverness

But then my 13 year old sister
Who is adopted and biracial
Just like me
Who was born of a Haitian father
And Greek mother
Asked me what she should call herself

I told her

You can call yourself what you please

She said well I’m white -- asked me how she’d look with blue eyes -- she had me choking on Toni Morrison and my own memories as I smiled for her and said --

You call yourself what you please

Shades of Colors

Why do you say that you're black or white?
Is it a war against color that you fight?

What makes you want to give flight,
and steer to the left, or to the right?

Oh shades of colors, strangers and others,
can't you see you're all sisters and brothers?

Why do you boast of something that's naught,
and hate the love that has mixed your pot?

Why esteem one people and not esteem all?
Pride will divide and lead to a fall!

Esteem a stranger as a sister or brother,
honor the love of your father and mother.

United by love we sore together,
becoming a bird of a colorful feather.

Written By Patrick McCartney Circa 1998

I am an African-American
But what does that mean?
Am I a child of Africa?
Am I a child of America?

Come to think of it, an African-America is one of two things
An American of African-descent
A racially mixed person who is mostly of African descent
But did not immigrate to America
Who am I really?
I consider myself a black-American
I guess it is appropriate

But who am I a child of?
I am a child of African queens, kings, and everyday folks.
I am a child of European monarchs, artisans, and farmers.
I am a child of the Cherokees, the Waccamaws, the Dakotas, and the Siouans.
I am a child of slave holders, farmers, homemakers, and slaves.
All from those Africans, Europeans, and the Native Americans.
Funny they never really say that they were black, or white, or Indian.

Those were only a relatively new thing.
The world made us black, white, and Indian.
Yet our family trees are mixed.
And so are we.
I am proud of my family from Africa.
But I am also proud of my American family.

The deeds were hateful.
But the deeds of others were pure.
The hatred of some was poisonous.
The love of others was glorious.
The deception of many became cancerous.
The truth of others became inspiring.
The purity, the glory, and the inspiration came from all walks of life,
languages, genealogies, and colors.

Those who were enslaved wanted to be free.
They were freed and held on to their dignity.
The souls of the Ashanti and Gullah.
But also of the English and the Cherokee.
I am a proud American.
And so should all of us be.
The divisions were wrong then and they still are now.
I am a proud American.
As all of us are.
Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas, the islands, Australia, and
When the smoke clears.
When all is said is done.
When the truth is revealed and when we discover what is most important.
We are different, and we have much in common.
I am a proud American.
That's who we are.

By Gail Gerald


Black skin with white trim
is the veil that you'll see
if varieties the spice
seems like a curse to me

The battle of too sides
with a loyalty to both
even if I chose
I could never go

Like a tug of war
or an outcaste on the sea
confusion owns my mind
my heart is in-between

One side does so well
the other laced in doom
the upper played a role
leading to this ruin

Caught up in the mix
as both call my name
anger mixed with love
leading to this pain

A breed unrecognized
with a birthday never seen
the only comfort zone
belonging to a dream

If love were keeping tab
we'd surely be dead last
searching for a tribe
to one day take us back

Huddled in the middle
with eyes shut tight
saying prayers of peace
for both to see the light

Poem By Michael Hellwig


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Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without
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